Growing Up with Punk Book Review


A Chinese banquet of fuzz box and leather. By Nicky Weller, Barry Cain, Russell Reader & Den Davis
Did you know Nicky has done a book about punk? This was near enough parting shot from the bubbly and lovely Tina Freeman of “Stinger” fame came out with during an interview in Woking. A moment or two later from the boot of her car, Nicky pulled this substantial (yes… no hyperbole here, matey!). VERY substantial book. It’s a nostalgic, well laid out photo and word album, a Chinese banquet-style tome you can dip in and out of, or gorge yourself silly. Fill your boots – it’s all here.

Nicky Weller , Barry Cain, Russell Reader & Den Davis came up with this glorious pogo through punk. It’s rammed with personal accounts and views from arguably the most vivid eras of pop culture. Punk shone brilliantly, but briefly and this book holds the vital spark for new generations. Nicky’s book is a kind of punk zoo, crammed with curious, wonderful and downright weird creatures, she was uniquely placed to be in contact with the pariahs of punk – and their post-punk offspring and here’s where you can find the thoughts of those touched by it.

Growing Up With Punk focuses on the insights and opinions of the likes of Paul Weller (a given, really) John Robb, John Lydon through to Gary Bushell, Glen Matlock John, Jilted John, Alan McGee, Toyah, Gary Bushell, Steve Carver, Martin Freeman and virtually anyone else you could mention – and a few others that you wouldn’t normally name off the top of your head, but relevant nonetheless. I believe this is an addition to her ‘Growing Up With The Jam’ book, though aimed at the foundations of it. It’s definitely a book you’ll accidentally on purpose leave hanging around for any visitor to pick and browse through. Just make sure they understand that this copy is yours and that they have to go and buy one for themselves.

The contributors are a fittingly anarchic collection, from musicians, photographers, managers, and hangers-on, as well as the punters themselves. It’s a very genuine book with a great many voices and it’s true to the punk ethic of ‘We’ll do it our way’.

If you weren’t around when punk came snarling and spitting intro every suburban living room in the UK – or even if you’ve never been involved with punk at all, it’s a brilliant book to stick your nose into and be inspired by and before I get shot by both sides for this gushing article, let me state. This is NOT a love song for this book. You’d be pretty green to think it was. I’m simply stating facts. The book is a pictorial and verbal account of the time. Sadly, via the overload of cheap TV shock tricks, punk will have to work very hard indeed to regain the mantle of public shock vehicle number one.

Nicky has self-published this and her passion for it comes searing through the pages. Get it, keep and (as a more eloquent man than I said) Flaunt it, baby. If you’ve got it, flaunt it.

Where can I get my mitts on it?

And… and… AND!!! Bonus alert!! Nicky will sign any sold all for the measly sum of £17.50 inc UK P&P. They can be sent worldwide, but extra postage will have to be applied.

Copyright © Russian Rik, Mods Of Your Generation, 2019, Image © Nicky Weller, All Rights Reserved. No part of this review may be reproduced without the permission of the authors.

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